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Zeynep Onat-Stelma

  1. 1. Researching Bilingually: A Turkish and English case University of Manchester ‘Researching Multilingually’ Conference 22-23 May 2012 Zeynep Onat-Stelma
  2. 2. My Hunch I have been in circumstances where I used two languages, Turkish and English, alongside each other from an early age. I feel that I developed ‘language identities’ going from school to university to my doctoral studies and that these ‘language identities’ may have had a role in shaping the way I conducted my doctoral research.
  3. 3. Today’s talk through a simplified version of Richard Fay’s conceptualisation of “mapping narrativity and reflection-reflexivity” process and progress of the research study research researcher narrative narrative Part 2 of Zeynep’s talk Part 1 of Zeynep’s talk presence of the researcher’s identity Fay, R. (2008)
  4. 4. In “being and becoming” researchers, our histories, social and linguistic forms of capital, and our identities position us in particular ways in relation to participants and the communities in which they are embedded. [emphasis added] Giampapa 2011, p.133 ‘language identities’
  5. 5. ‘Lang-ography’ Age 5 Age 8 Age 12 Age 18 Bamako, Mali Miami, USA Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul, Turkey American American English medium English medium International kindergarten school university School (1 year) (6 years) (4 years) (4 years)
  6. 6. ‘Lang-ography’ (continued) Age 22 Age 24 Age 25 Istanbul, Turkey Leeds + Istanbul Research assistant + Leeds, UK PhD (Split-location) + Masters MEd Working for OUP and English medium (1year) Bogazici university university (6 years) (2 years)
  7. 7. Contexts of language use: ‘Language identities’ School ‘language identity’ Academic ‘language identity’ Professional ‘language identity’ Social ‘language identity’ Thinking ‘language identity’
  8. 8. School 'language identity' (primary, middle and high school) : In Turkey: Speaker of Turkish with friends Speaker of English in lessons Writer in English for almost all lessons (except History, Turkish, and Geography) Reader in English for almost all lessons (except History, Turkish, and Geography Reader in English for pleasure Outside Turkey: Speaker of English in all interactions Writer in English for everything Reader in English for everything
  9. 9. Academic 'language identity' (BA, MA, PhD, lecturer work) : In Turkey: Speaker of Turkish with colleagues at University Speaker of English when giving lectures Writer in English for almost everything Reader in English for almost everything In the UK: Speaker of English in all interactions Writer in English for everything Reader in English for everything
  10. 10. Professional 'language identity' (OUP consultant) : In Turkey: Speaker of Turkish with colleagues Speaker of English with native speaker colleagues and when doing seminars Writer in English in most situations (a few letters in Turkish to school teachers/heads) Reader in English for most situations (some documents in Turkish)
  11. 11. Social 'language identity' : In the UK: Speaker of English for social purposes (colleagues and friends) In Turkey: Speaker of Turkish for social purposes (colleagues and friends)
  12. 12. Thinking 'language identity' : I speculate that I am thinking in English for all academic situations and both in English and Turkish at other times although I am not completely aware of what is happening in my brain!!
  13. 13. Background: PhD experience Split-location scheme-switching back and forth between languages.
  14. 14. My language related options for data collection: Interviews Option 1: Interview in English Option 2: Interview in Turkish Relevant ‘Language Identity': Speaker of Turkish in social, academic, and professional interactions Feels natural to interview in Turkish as this is consistent with my ‘speaker of Turkish’ in social and academic and professional identity.
  15. 15. My language related options for data collection: Observations Option 1: Take notes in English Option 2: Take notes in Turkish Relevant 'Language Identity': Writer of English in most situations Feels natural to take notes in English as I have not written much in Turkish, especially after I graduated from high school.
  16. 16. My language related options for data analysis: Interviews [Interviews were conducted in Turkish] Option 1: Analyse in Turkish, translate only for writing up Option 2: Translate to English, then analyse Relevant 'Language Identity': Reader and writer in English in most situations Thinking in English for most academic work (as far as I believe!!) Feels natural to conduct analysis in English due to having spent most of my time studying (writing, reading, and thinking academically) in English.
  17. 17. My language related options for data analysis: Observations No option here, really, as I took the observation notes in English. Relevant ‘Language Identity': Reader and writer of English in most situations Feels natural to do the analysis in English as I have not read or written much in Turkish, especially after I graduated from high school.
  18. 18. A few questions to consider… Can we talk about researching multilingually without taking into account language identities of the researcher? What if the 'natural-ness' does not allow the researcher to reflect on the particularities of researching bilingually?
  19. 19. References Fay, R. (2008) The complexities and affordances of narrative in research texts: Developing narrative awareness with experienced teachers on postgraduate programmes. Paper presented at the Narrative Matters: ‘Storying our world’ Conference, Toronto, Canada. Giampapa, M. (2011) The politics of “being and becoming” a researcher: Identity, power, and negotiating the field. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, Vol.10(3), p.132-144.
  20. 20. Thank you! Zeynep Onat-Stelma zeynep.onat-stelma@manchester.ac.uk

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